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The Royal Thai Air Force, RTAF, arranged its traditional Children´s Day event at Don Mueang Air Force base in Bangkok, January 10th 2015. As always it became an event which attracted a huge crowd of children, parents, aviation fans and even some plane spotters from abroad. 

One main feature during the day was the aerobatic shows by two RTAF Gripen aircraft from Wing 7 in Surat Thani. Several other RTAF aircraft participated in fly-by formations, like the AU-23A Peacemaker which discharged smoke strings in the Thai national flag colours over the crowd. Most aircraft in RTAF´s inventory were exhibited on the tarmac in front of the Wing.

Saab-Avia co-arranged games and Q&A for the kids in its booth. As last year, the three top prizes were flights with the Gripen Simulator at  Avia Satcom HQ just off Don Mueang airport.

Check out the photos:

gripen_6.jpgRTAF Gripen roars as they take off in front of thousands of visitors
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gripen_3.jpgWriting autographs and posing for pictures
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A polite Thai wai for the spectators

image001.jpgCrowd gathers at the Saab-Avia booth
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The lucky winner got a framed Gripen poster
Image Courtesy: Dennis Thern and Wisarut  Tanprasert​ (the bottom two)

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Last year, Czech Air Force Gripen pilots successfully conducted air surveillance and interception missions in Iceland. In an interview with Natoaktual.cz, Czech Gripen pilot and deputy commander of the 211th Tactical Squadron, Lieutenant Milan Nykodym talks about his experience of flying in a country with different terrains and climatic conditions.

“We were very well prepared for the action over Iceland. We were not surprised or caught off guard, a situation that you cannot afford as a military pilot anyway. Perhaps I would admit that I was a bit surprised by the beauty of the scenery that I saw in the country,” Lieutenant Nykodym says.

Czech Air Force pilots flew about 150 hours over Iceland during this mission, chalking off more than a hundred takeoffs from the Keflavík Air Base.

According to Lieutenant Nykodym, the air surveillance in Iceland was a bit different as compared to the Czech Republic. The standard time period between the announcement and take off was different. Also, the fighters were kept in tough shelters so that they were not exposed to harsh weather. 

The climatic conditions and terrains of Iceland gave ample opportunities to the Czech pilots to practice missions with different challenges.

“We got to practice flights over the sea, we searched ships using the onboard radar and worked in an environment of civil air traffic control, and much more,” Lieutenant Nykodym says.

Read the full story: Čeští tygři lovili na Islandu zkušenosti, rekapituluje pilot gripenu​

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In an interview with Diário do Grande ABC, FAB pilot Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto talks about his first flight in Gripen, his experience at the Swedish Air Force Base in Satenas and the knowledge he will transfer to all the units back home.

“It was great to get an opportunity to fly an aircraft like Gripen. The high engine performance during maneuvers and the integrated systems exceeded expectations. What surprised me the most during the flight was the full integration of systems and sensors, automatically managed by the aircraft,” he says.

About his experience at the Swedish Air Force Base, Captain Pascotto says the F7 Air Base is a facility with full infrastructure for operational air activity, and supporting staff is extraordinary. Personal and professional rapport with the squadron pilots was the main reason behind his easy adaptation at the Base. 

On being asked if he would like to give any message to aspiring pilots, Captain Pascotto said that aviation is more than a dream, considering the amount of effort that goes into becoming a fighter pilot.

“But undoubtedly, the effort is worth it in every way. I believe that it should be the same in all professions, actually. For those who wish to serve our country under the wings of the Brazilian Air Force, who wish to work for the air sovereignty of Brazil, aviation will certainly be a vibrant and promising profession. I would like to repeat the words spoken 17 years ago by my ...

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It felt like I was in one of the world’s most modern  fighters, perhaps the most modern. I have absolutely no doubt that Brazil has made the right choice. It is impressive how much information the pilot has at his fingertips. It feels like you are at the spearhead, fully equipped to defend your country”, said FAB pilot Major Renato Leal Leite who flew the Swedish fighter aircraft last year.

For a successful mission, having the right information and situation awareness is very important. It is also important that the pilot has the information filtered as per his or her requirement. A Gripen cockpit is an unrivalled mix of simplicity and sophistication. Its layout has three large colour, Multi-Functional Displays (MFD) and Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) that give the pilot a superior combat advantage: ‘don’t need, don’t show’.

Gripen pilots can acquire, retrieve, process, share and display tactical information, such as positional data for hostile and friendly units, missile engagement zones, and information from radar warning receivers.

Gripen is fitted with the Tactical Information Data Link System (TIDLS) which enables the pilot to obtain qualitative data from other Gripen, increasing group information and situation awareness and eventually enhancing the capability of force interaction.

Read more about Gripen’s features here.​

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Gripen NG, whose flexible and modular design makes continuous development and enhancements, is designed for combat scenarios in the 21st Century Net Centric Warfare (NCW) environment.

The new generation aircraft can not only accumulate information from different sources, but also process it and present it in a manner that is useful for the pilot during a mission. It has highly developed net-centric warfare capabilities, including an advanced sensor suite and strong focus on data links for sharing information within a Gripen NG tactical unit or with NATO forces.

The information advantage does not end here. The pilot can also receive data from controllers on the ground or in the air. A digital CAS and video link enables further communication benefits.

Gripen’s Data Link System (TIDLS), along with a Link 16 or National Data Link provide the following capabilities:

Data link within the Tactical Air Unit

Data link between Gripen, AEW&C and C2 centers on ground or at sea

Data link with Forward Air Controller

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From the beginning Gripen was conceived as a balanced design. Its unique mix of operational effectiveness, high technology and clear affordability is true to Saab’s tradition of offering products that are fully optimised for their purpose, while remaining always available and effective.

Click here to download the calender.

czech_gripen.jpgDefence and security company Saab received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the extended lease of Gripen from Sweden to the Czech Republic this year. This agreement provides for the continuing support and upgrade of the Czech aircraft for a further 12 years. The order is valued at approx. SEK 576 million.

Gripen has been in service with the Czech Republic since 2005. In May 2014 a new agreement between Sweden and the Czech Republic extended this partnership for a further 12 years. As a result, the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D aircraft until at least 2027. Under the terms of this government-to-government agreement Saab acts as a supplier to FMV, which in turn provides the aircraft to the Czech Republic.

“The Czech Republic’s decision is further evidence of Gripen's high capability and great cost-efficiency. It proves again how well the aircraft stands up in global competition. As we develop the next generation of Gripen for Sweden and Brazil, we continue to see great international interest in Gripen C/D”, says Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO and Head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.

Read the full story here​.

In a rare display of its kind, three generations of Saab's fighter aircraft - Gripen, Viggen and Draken - came together to perform a flypast at the  NATO Days in Ostrava & Air Force Days at Mošnov airport in September this year.

Four Czech pilots - Michal Danek, Ervin Um, Merta and Martin Pelda were awarded at the event for flying a thousand hours in Gripen.

To see the three aircraft together, one usually needs to travel to Sweden. Hence, it was a unique opportunity for more than 200, 000 visitors at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Air Force Days to witness the three Saab fighter aircraft in a flypast.

It was a demonstration that celebrated the past and the present.

Draken takes us to the days of a new beginning; the jet era had already started. Sweden wanted to develop an aircraft that could undertake a combat role unique to the country. It was important for the aircraft to be able to operate from reinforced public roads used as part of wartime airbases and to be refueled and rearmed as quickly as possible. Manufactured between 1955 and 1974, the Draken was first built to replace the Saab J29 Tunnan. The one of its kind aircraft entered service with the Swedish Air Force in 1960 and was successfully exported to Austria, Denmark and Finland as well.

More than a decade later, Viggen was conceptualized with an aim to replace the Saab 32 Lansen in the attack role and later ...

gp5.jpgGripen E’s development is in full swing and Saab is showcasing the fighter aircraft at various events across the globe. The interest in Gripen has been unprecedented. However, this has not slackened Saab’s efforts for the continued upgradation process of Gripen C/D, reports Flightglobal.

Saab maintains that any customer that buys Gripen today will be able to upgrade and enhance their aircraft when needed. Gripen aircraft has been developed on the principle of ‘Designed to be Upgraded’. Also, instead of building an aircraft and then conducting a major and very costly mid-life upgrade, Saab makes smaller critical improvements every two to three years. 

With Gripen, one can adapt and shift focus when desired, Saab says. The upgrades, called as Materiel System or MS, can be adapted to emerging requirements. The Swedish defense and security company has completed "edition 20" of its updates for the C/D models, which will become operational in 2015. 

MS 20 block upgrade includes improved radar modes; a digital close air support capability; increased Link 16 connectivity; civil navigation enhancements; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot, night-capable operations using the SPK 39 Modular Reconnaissance Pod II; and a ground collision avoidance system (GCAS).

At the recently held Farnborough International air show 2014, Lennart Sindahl, head of aeronautics, Saab said, “This is an aircraft that will fly until 2030 at least. The Gripen C/D is not something of the past, it is something of the future and we foresee more customers coming ...

gripen ng 14.jpgGallium Nitride (GaN), probably the most important semiconductor material since silicon, will be used by Saab on the Gripen E aircraft, reports Defense News.

Gallium Nitride has long been seen as a powerful alternative to gallium arsenide which is currently popular for making modules for AESA radars.

The cost of Gallium Nitride has been a deterrent in its use in ground radars. However, with the demonstration of successful prototyping of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) technologies by US firms like Raytheon, things are changing.

“The substance will be used in jammers and passive warning systems, boosting efficiency by 25 percent,” said Ulf Nilsson, the head of the Gripen program.

In addition to enabling future 360 sensor coverage, GaN technologies will also increase the defended area and decrease the time to detect, discriminate and engage threats.

According to Lennart Sindahl, Saab’s deputy CEO, Saab is now ahead of the curve on GaN.

“Our worst competitor said ‘you are now six years ahead of us,’” Sindahl said.

Read the full story: Gallium Nitride Gets Fighter Debut With Saab​

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